The United Yemen

By | December 15, 2022

Efforts to unify Yemen as a state initially failed due to ideological contradictions. An agreement concluded by the two states in 1972 on their merger was already denounced in 1973 by the Yemen Arab Republic. There were border conflicts and open hostilities (1970/1971, 1972, 1979, 1981/82). Unification negotiations in 1972 (basic agreement, renewed 1979), 1977, 1981 (coordination and cooperation agreement; among other things, establishment of a “Yemeni Council” made up of the heads of state) and 1989 (formation of a United Political Organizing Committee) finally led to the merger on May 22, 1990 a unified nation-state of Yemen (“[Islamic] Republic of Yemen”). The first president was Saleh , Prime Minister al-Attas . On May 15 and 16, 1991, the people of North and South Yemen approved the provisional constitution of the Republic of Yemen; In the parliamentary elections on April 27, 1993, the General People’s Congress (AVK), the party of the state president, was victorious; the former state party of South Yemen, the JSP, became the third largest party.

Supporting Iraq in the 2nd  Gulf War(including the expulsion of Yemeni guest workers from Saudi Arabia) and the influx of Somali refugees in 1991/92 led Yemen to major economic (high unemployment and inflation) and political difficulties. The coalition government formed after the elections (1993) made up of the AVK and JSP (until 1994; thereafter AVK and Islah) endeavored to stabilize the country and implement a moderate foreign policy, among other things. by recognizing Eritrea and opening the border with Oman. Different potential for conflict between the conservative-religious north and the socialist-laicist, now politically and economically underprivileged south triggered battles between the two parts (April 27th – May 5th, 1994), which escalated into a civil war. On May 21 Southerners proclaimed the restoration of the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen. The militarily superior north conquered the south (including the siege and capture of Aden, July 5) and on July 7, 1994 declared the war of civil secession to be over (around 7,000 victims). After the parliament had approved a new Islamic constitution on September 28, 1994, it voted Saleh became President on October 1, 1994 (confirmed after direct election in 1999). The leader of the Islah, Sheikh Abdallah Ibn Hussain Al-Ahmar (* 1933, † 2007) , became President of Parliament in 1993. The 1997 parliamentary elections resulted in a sole government for the AVK, which was confirmed in 2003.

According to clothesbliss, after armed conflict with Eritrea over the Hanisch archipelago (end of 1995), a peaceful settlement of the conflict was agreed on May 3, 1996; In 1998 the border disputes could be settled by international arbitration. In 2000, the Treaty of Djidda (June 12th) came to a final settlement of the border disputes with Saudi Arabia, and in 2004 also with Oman. – After the terrorist attack on the US destroyer »Cole« on October 12, 2000 in the port of Aden, the Yemeni government took decisive action against radical Islamists in the country and at the same time joined the international fight against terrorism.

Hussein Badreddin al-Huthi (* 1956, † 2007) , a saiditischer preacher (Saiditen) and former member of founded in 1990 monarchist opposition party al-Haq, had in 2004 in the area around Saada with calls against the US and the government of President Saleh a militia mobilized by around 3,000 relatives. When he prevented the provincial governor from entering the country on June 21, 2004, the army began a campaign against the insurgents that lasted until September 2004 and in which Hussein Badreddin al-Huthi was killed. The leadership of the saidite rebel group passed to his younger brother Abdelmalik al-Huthi . In 2005 armed conflicts with the Houthi rebels flared up again.

Saleh won the presidential election in 2006 again. In early 2007, for the first time after a ceasefire in March 2006, the Houthi militias resumed their attacks on localities and government institutions in northern Yemen. Up to a new ceasefire in June 2007, hundreds of soldiers or fighters and numerous civilians were killed on both sides. In the period that followed, however, there were again serious military conflicts. In August 2009, government troops began an offensive against the rebels. In November 2009, Saudi Arabia also intervened militarily after the Houthi attacked Saudi Arabian border troops. President Saleh accused the insurgents of wanting to restore the rule of Shiite clergy, which ended in 1962. In addition, the government saw itself challenged by numerous attacks attributed to the terrorist organization “al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula”. In February 2010, the government signed a new ceasefire agreement with the Houthi rebels, who had since expanded their sphere of influence considerably.

Influenced by the protest movements in Tunisia and Egypt, opponents of the regime from various political camps also demonstrated against Saleh’s rule in Yemen in 2011. The latter agreed to forego another term of office. Nonetheless, the protests broadened. A state of emergency was declared in March 2011 following a massacre of demonstrators by security forces in Sanaa. On June 3, 2011, Saleh was injured in an attack on the presidential palace. He was flown to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment. Vice-President Abd Rabbo Mansur Hadi took over the office(* 1945). In September 2011, the conflicts between state power and the protest movement escalated again into bloody clashes. On September 23, 2011, Saleh surprisingly returned to Sanaa from Saudi Arabia. In October 2011, the Yemeni civil rights activist Tawakkul Karman was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. With the mediation of the Gulf Cooperation Council, President Saleh finally reached an agreement with the opposition on the transfer of powers to Vice President Hadi , which was signed on November 23, 2011 in Riyadh. The agreement included, inter alia. the formation of a transitional government including the opposition, the holding of early presidential elections, and full immunity for Saleh and his environment. Parts of the protest movement rejected the agreement.

In the presidential elections, Hadi , who was the only candidate to run, received more than 99% of the vote on February 21, 2012. On February 25, 2012, he was sworn in as President for a transition period of 2 years. On September 11, 2012, up to 200,000 people demonstrated in Sanaa against immunity for Saleh and called for action against the still powerful members of his clan. The Houthi movement still tried to expand its sphere of influence. She fought against Salafist groups and occupied state institutions. The terrorist activities of “al-Qaida on the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)” also continued. A suicide attack in Sanaa in mid-May 2012 killed almost 100 soldiers who were rehearsing a military parade. In March 2013, a so-called National Dialogue began, in which all of the country’s important groups took part: supporters of Saleh , Secessionists from the southern part of the country, the Houthis from the north, who now referred to themselves as Ansar Allah (“supporters of Allah”), Islamists of the Islah party, supporters of the Socialist Party of Yemen, local dignitaries and representatives of religious minorities. The results of this dialogue should feed into a new constitution. Terrorist attacks and fighting between rival tribes continued in 2013. At the same time, the US carried out drone strikes on suspected al-Qaida fighters.

In January 2014, the presidential term was extended for a further year in order to gain time to draft the new constitution. The government continued to try to cope with the threat posed by al-Qaida fighters, primarily through military operations in the south of the country. After the Houthi rebels had already taken the provincial capital of Amran, north of Saana, in the summer of 2014, they were then able to advance into Sanaa. With the mediation of the United Nations, a peace agreement was finally signed on September 21, 2014, including included the formation of a government of national unity and the withdrawal of the Huhti militia to northern Yemen. Despite the establishment of a cross-camp expert government, the situation remained tense. The militias did not leave the capital and penetrated other parts of the country. There were also clashes between al-Qaeda fighters and Houthi units. After heavy fighting, Houthi units took control of the presidential palace on January 20, 2015. Under the pressure of these events, the government and the president stepped forward Hadi back on January 22nd, 2015. On February 6, 2015, the Houthi rebels declared parliament dissolved. The UN Security Council condemned this approach and urged a peaceful solution to the conflict. Hadi , who was placed under house arrest, managed to escape to Aden on February 21, 2015, where he revised his decision to resign and rejected all measures taken by the Houthi, who was allied with former President Saleh , as illegitimate. On March 19, 2015, military clashes between supporters and opponents of Hadi broke out in Aden. On March 20, 2015, at least 140 people were killed in suicide attacks by Islamist extremists on two mosques in Sanaa.

On March 21, 2015, President Hadi declared Aden the country’s provisional capital. In the meantime the Houthi units advanced further towards Aden. A military alliance of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia intervened on March 26, 2015 and attacked rebel positions. The military coalition initially included Egypt, Sudan, Jordan and Morocco. In May 2015, Senegal and all Gulf states except Oman also joined. Hadi fled to the Saudi capital Riyadh. In autumn 2015 he was able to return to Aden. On the basis of a ceasefire agreement concluded on April 10, 2016, peace talks between the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels began on April 21, 2016 with the mediation of the United Nations in Kuwait. In June 2016, the United Arab Emirates announced their withdrawal from the military alliance. At the end of July 2016 in Sanaa, the General People’s Congress, the party of the former ruler Saleh , and the Houthi movement declared the formation of a “Supreme Council” with political responsibility for all of Yemen. Thereupon the peace talks in Kuwait were initiated by the internationally recognized government under President Hadi canceled. The Arab coalition resumed air strikes in August 2016. Serious terrorist attacks continued to rock the country. In October 2016, over 140 people were killed and over 500 injured in an air raid on a memorial service in Saana. The incident intensified international criticism of Saudi Arabia’s warfare. Human rights organizations had also repeatedly criticized the use of cluster munitions. Nonetheless, the military clashes continued. Hadi government troops reported the regaining control of the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the conquest of the port city of Mocha in January 2017. The USA stepped up its air and drone strikes on positions of the terrorist militia “al-Qaida on the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)”. At the end of November 2017 there was fighting between Houthi units and Saleh supporters in Saana. On December 2, 2017, Saleh moved away from the Houthi in a televised address and was open to negotiations with the Saudi Arabia-led military alliance. As a result, the military clashes between his supporters and the Houthi intensified. Saleh was killed in the fighting on December 4, 2017.

The United Yemen